News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), the country’s largest industry association of more than 78 news channels representing broadcasters from 14 languages and 25 states of the country met on Saturday to firm up the governance and management structure, as well to finalize on the modalities of a self-regulatory organization – News Broadcasters Federation Authority – with an aim to bring in transparent self-regulation on content.
In the biggest ever congregation of regional news broadcasters for a common cause that represents their combined interests and perspective on matters related to the news broadcasting industry, on Saturday in New Delhi, the members unanimously elected Arnab Goswami, managing director and editor in chief of Republic TV, as the new President of NBF’s Governing Board.
"I am grateful for the trust and confidence shown in me by the largest every group of broadcasters in India. NBF is a game changer and its incredible how so many channel owners and top executives have come together so quickly to make NBF happen." Arnab Goswami said on being elected as the President of NBF. “For far too long a clutch of Delhi based channels have falsely claimed to represent Indian broadcasting. NBF will change that, for good.”
The members also elected four vice presidents, namely Jagi Mangat Panda co-founder of Ortel Communications; Shankar Bala of Fourth Dimension Media; Sanjive Narain, chairman and managing director of Prag News, and Kartikeya Sharma of ITV Network, who will be part of the governing board.
“I think this is one of the best moves that have been taken up with all of us together and thinking that in the broadcasting industry, it will be a big step,” said Riniki Bhuyan Sharma, chairman and managing director of Pride East Entertainment, a regional broadcaster from the north-eastern part of India
“Basically, it is an association of regional channels and broadcasters. We represent around 100 crore people. Earlier we were not be able to hear in Delhi. Now we are an association where we can reach out in Delhi and sort out our problems, and that’s the best part of it,” said Anil Ayroor, chief operating officer of Twentyfour News, a news broadcaster from Kerala.
The members also unanimously named R. Jai Krishna, a former journalist and public policy specialist in the Media sector, as the first secretary-general/ executive director of NBF. R. Jai Krishna comes with more than two decades experience and expertise especially in the news media industry. He will run the secretariat being set up in New Delhi, given the proximity to government ministries, concerned departments and industry regulators.
“I am more than happy to represent the aspirations of regional news broadcasters and resolve their common issues to make regional news industry more sustainable,” R. Jai Krishna said on his appointment.
NBF is the largest-ever federation of news channels, representing both national and regional news broadcasters was formed in July this year, by bringing together 50 news channels. NBF jointly is sled by an experience and expertise of over 1000 years, deliver news and information to more than 100 crore viewers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and Gandhi Nagar to Guwahati, through their more than 100,000 direct and indirect employees.
Angad Deep Singh, director of Chandigarh-based Living India News added: “NBF had to be set up, because we the regional players wanted someone who could be a voice in the nation. Even the regional or all of us had to be together to the problems which all of us are facing.”
“After forming NBF everyone is coming together, and there are so many people who are interested and who are joining NBF, they are enthusiastic,” said Sukhdev Singh Ghuman, Chairman of Digiana Industries, one of the largest MSOs based in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. “I think the regional channels are going to be benefitted a lot.”
Prior to the Board meeting, the members met the Hon’ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, and presented their first set of memorandum. The Minister urged NBF and its members to form a strong self-regulatory mechanism, while recognizing the importance of regional news channels.
The President of NBF will steer a focused group in formation of the self-regulatory body – ‘News Broadcasters Federation Authority’, which will create new standards for news broadcasting and address any violation through a committee of editors from within the federation. The self-regulation mechanism will be led by a Chairman, and four independent eminent persons, and another four editors. The new Self-Regulatory Organization is scheduled to be announced officially by end of January 2020.
“We will strive to make self-regulations and we will strive to make to benefit the industry and take forward this industry in a very positive way keeping in mind the entire country, keeping in mind the entire diversity of the country in mind. We will take it forward,” added Sanjive Narain.
The members of NBF also formalized the members of the three issues-Specific Committees – Public Policy, Distribution, and Finance – by electing among the members through a mode of consensus.